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At the exact bus stop where Rosa Parks boarded her famous city bus trip to fight segregation in 1955, participants in a Sons of Confederate Veterans "Confederate Heritage Rally" wait to march up Dexter Avenue in downtown Montgomery to recreate the inauguration of Jefferson Davis 150 years later.

Lesson Plan Questions: 

In this photograph, three women dressed in reenactment costumes, sit on a bench in downtown Montgomery, Alabama, waiting for a rally to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of the Confederacy’s President, Jefferson Davis.

By coincidence, this bench is also the exact spot where Rosa Parks waited to board a city bus in 1955, 100 years after the Civil War ended.

These two events, the inauguration of Jefferson Davis and Rosa Parks’ arrest for attempting to integrate a city bus, continue to be directly connected by people who deny that racism has played a significant role in American history.

As a photographer, I do not carry a soapbox with me, and tend to keep my own opinions, at least when photographing, to myself. I believe it is important to treat people with respect. But at this rally, speaker after speaker claimed that the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery, and that they had gathered in Montgomery to honor the “President of the last true free Republic”. By misrepresenting the past, it becomes that much easier to justify the present.